Buying a camera can be stressful, but we are here to help! Here are four things you need to consider in order to choose the camera and gear that’s right for you.
1. DSLR or Mirrorless?
If you’re unsure about what the differences are: a mirrorless camera is all the fun of a DSLR without the extra size and weight. It allows for better image quality than a phone or point-and-shoot camera but maybe not quite as good as a DSLR. They can be quicker though, and better for video. As time goes on, the differences between the physical appearance of these cameras are lowering in numbers and the look of them are gradually getting to be more alike. Despite appearances, it is important to recognize the differences in camera functionality to make the most educated decision. Mirrored cameras have an optical viewfinder for you to look into, whereas mirrorless cameras have an electronic viewfinder, or LCD screen, to see your picture in before you take it. The mirror reflects the light to the viewfinder making mirrorless cameras a lot more electronic. In 2019 you’ll need to choose between a traditional DSLR or gradually competing mirrorless cameras, based on what’s right for you and what you’re going to be doing with your camera.
Each camera body has a sensor built in that controls how sensitive the camera is to light! The sensor is the digital version of film and that’s how your digital photos are recorded in the camera, similar to how photos are recorded on film with film cameras. There are cropped-frame sensors and full-frame sensors to choose from when purchasing a camera. Most cameras on the market use cropped-frame sensors as they are most cost efficient for the everyday photographer. Full frame sensors are preferred for professional photographers due to having the capability of shooting at a higher resolution and seeing more in frame. However, full-frame cameras are more expensive.
Which camera should you purchase? That decision will depend on your own personal purpose for buying a camera. Are you starting out your career in photography or do you just want to take some nice pictures of your kids? Are you a beginner? If so, a moderately priced camera with cropped-frame sensor will do the job! You can always upgrade to a full-frame camera if you decide to take your photography to a more professional level.
It is a good idea to think ahead when purchasing a camera! What is your purpose for this new investment – travel, every day life, portraits, or for work? Cameras usually come with an 18mm-55mm lens, but being on the lookout for a camera bundle that comes with two might save you some money in the long run! If you’re looking for a lens for wide angle shots, look for a focal length (the number value of the lens) that is less than 35mm. Want to have photos where you’re able to appear close to your subject? Telephoto lenses are focal lengths greater than 35mm (the bigger the number, the closer you appear to your subject from the same position). We recommend having the ‘nifty fifty’ 50mm f1.8 lens in your kit – this lens is amazing for shallow depth of field shots of portraits, food, or every day photos!
It’s a good idea to do some research into camera accessories when choosing your camera! Find a bundle that packages some accessories together to get more bang for your buck. Some accessories that you might be interested in are:
- Extra batteries — you’d be surprised at how quick time flies
- Extra SD cards (just in case)
- Additional lenses
- Lens cleaning kit
- Padded neck strap
- A camera bag (to protect and carry your camera, lenses, extra batteries and SD cards!)
One Last Thing…
The final thing to keep in mind throughout this process is that there is no single “best” camera! Every camera has a lot to offer, but it all depends on your needs as a user. Each photographer will find their own favourite camera through practice, experience and research. Another factor that will play a big role in your decision is whether or not you like how it feels in your hands! Its always a great idea to test out the camera in store to see if you like it in person and not just on paper. Make sure you’re buying the camera that’s right for you by considering what you plan on using it for.